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consent of the Porte, and without the intervention of the European 
Powers he would have taken Constantinople and proclaimed himself 
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The Powers, however, intervened, the 
Empire was saved for the moment, Egypt was declared to be a tributary 
state with an hereditary ruler, termed the Khedive, in the family of 
Mahomet Ali. In law Egypt was thus a part of Turkey, although it was 
an autonomous, that is to say self-governing, community. In fact it 
was practically independent of Turkish control, and, while the legal re- 
lation existed after as before the British occupation in 1883, Egypt was 
from that date in fact, though not in law, a dependency of Great Britain. 
From and after December 17, 1914, Egypt has become, and probably 
will remain, a protected state of Great Britain, or in the rhetorical lan- 
guage of Kipling, of the "far flung Empire." 


On November 5, 1914, the British Foreign Office published the follow- 
ing notice in the London Gazette: "Owing to hostile acts committed by 
Turkish forces under German officers, a state of war exists between Great 
Britain and Turkey as from today." At the same time Great Britain 
declared the conventions of June 4, July 1, and August 14, 1878, between 
Great Britain and Turkey, by the terms of which Great Britain acquired 
the right to occupy and administer Cyprus, to be annulled by the war, 
and formally annexed Cyprus, as appears from the following extract 
from the Order in Council of November 5, 1914: "From and after the 
date hereof the said island shall be annexed to and form part of 
His Majesty's Dominions, and the said island is annexed accord- 

It is common knowledge that Great Britain threatened, in 1878, to 
intervene in the Kusso-Turkish war; that Great Britain objected stren- 
uously to the terms of peace which Russia had dictated to Turkey at 
San Stefano; that, by a brilliant stroke, Disraeli transported Indian 
troops to Cyprus and persuaded Russia to yield to a revision of the 
Treaty of San Stefano of February 19/March 3, 1878, without resort to 
arms. It is further common knowledge that Russia was obliged to refer 
the Turkish situation to a congress called for that purpose at Berlin, 
where the Treaty of Berlin was negotiated and signed on July 13, 
1878, which so profoundly affected the destinies of the Balkan 


From the convention of defensive alliance between Great Britain and 
Turkey, signed June 4, 1878, the following article is quoted : 

Art. I. If Batoun, Ardahan, Kars, or any of them shall be retained by Russia, and 
if any attempt shall be made at any future time by Russia to take possession of any 
further territories of His Imperial Majesty the Sultan in Asia, as fixed by the de- 
finitive treaty of peace, England engages to join His Imperial Majesty the Sultan in 
defending them by force of arms. 

In return, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan promises to England to introduce 
necessary reforms, to be agreed upon later between the two Powers, into the govern- 
ment, and for the protection of the Christian and other subjects of the Porte in these 
territories; and in order to enable England to make necessary provision for executing 
her engagement, His Imperial Majesty the Sultan further consents to assign the 
Island of Cyprus to be occupied and administered by England. 1 

In the annex to this convention, dated July 1, 1878, the following oc- 

VI. That if Russia restores to Turkey Kars and the other conquests made by her 
in Armenia during the last war, the Island of Cyprus will be evacuated by England, 
and the convention of the 4th of June, 1878, will be at an end. 2 

On August 14, 1878, Turkey and Great Britain added the following 
additional article to the convention of June 4, 1878: 

It is understood between the high contracting parties, without prejudice to the 
express provisions of the Articles I, II, and IV of the Annex of the 1st July, 1878, 
that His Imperial Majesty the Sultan, in assigning the Island of Cyprus to be occu- 
pied and administered by England, has thereby transferred to and vested in Her 
Majesty the Queen, for the term of the occupation and no longer, full powers for 
making laws and conventions for the government of the island in Her Majesty's 
name, and for the regulation of its commercial and consular relations and affairs, 
free from the Porte's control. 3 

In law, Cyprus remained a part of the Ottoman Empire, occupied 
and administered by Great Britain; in fact, it became a British province. 
Great Britain has taken advantage of the war with Turkey to regard the 
conventions concluded with that country as annulled by the war, and 
thus, having got them out of the way in accordance with international 
law, Great Britain has annexed the Island of Cyprus. 

1 Holland, European Concert in the Eastern Question, p. 354. 

2 Ibid., p. 356. 

3 Hertslet, Commercial Treaties, Vol. XIV, p. 1177.